Non ministrari, sed ministrare

Vestry Meeting - March 6, 2002


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Vestry Meeting Highlights


A regular meeting of the Vestry was held on March 6, 2002. In addition to Father Moyer, the entire Vestry was present with the exception of Joan Dilworth, John Nyheim and David Rawson who were all out of town. The meeting was opened with prayer and chaired by the Rector’s Warden, Mr. Stanley Bright.


The Vestry reviewed the Extra-Parochial Giving budget for 2002. A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the budget of $64,000, but to place a temporary hold on payment of the monies allocated for payment of the Episcopal Assessment until the current situation becomes clarified. The Vestry will determine at a later date the disposition of those monies. The amount allocated for giving outside the parish exceeds 10% of the expected income of the parish for the year.


The Vestry then spent over an hour discussing the current situation involving the inhibition Father Moyer received from Bishop Bennison. Copies of the letter from Father Moyer to the bishop and the letter from Father Moyer’s lawyer, John Lewis, Esquire, to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, William Bullitt, Esquire, were distributed. (You are welcome to pick up a copy of these documents from the church office.) Father Moyer has asked the bishop to affirm four basic tenets of the Christian Faith and the Church. References from the Book of Common Prayer, Articles of Religion and Holy Scriptures are used in support of those tenets. Mr. Lewis has called the actions taken by the bishop and Standing Committee invalid, illegal, unjust and unchristian.


Father Moyer requested that the Vestry allow him to take a personal in-house retreat in order to focus on prayer and the Sacraments as he seeks direction concerning future actions. He stated that support has been coming in from all over the country and the world. Archbishop Carey is just one of those who are supportive. Father Moyer said, “I know Jesus was crucified because Church leaders said that He broke the law. I have no wish to be crucified, but I have no plans to change my position. Eternal issues are at stake. If Bishop Bennison is allowed to celebrate and preach in this church, we will have failed people all over the world.”


The Vestry was grateful for and supportive of the ways that Father Moyer has handled this entire matter to date. A sometimes-heated debate about the bishop, his real intentions and what to do next followed. It was agreed that we should proceed with great caution in order not to do anything that would jeopardize the parish. Various strategies were discussed and it was decided that the Vestry should meet again in two weeks in order to review the situation in light of any new developments during that time. All agreed to pray for Father Moyer, the parish and all those in authority around the world who may become involved in this matter.


Copies of the reports of the parish study interviews conducted by Federico and Cummings were distributed to members of the Vestry for study. Following prayer by the secretary the meeting was adjourned.



Curtis Cooke

Secretary of the Vestry


Please continue to pray for Father Moyer and the Vestry as we all seek to discern our Lord’s will and once discerned, for the courage to follow it.


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